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Hunger and Abuse of Power in Politics By Paul Nsona (Mzuzu University)

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Public_Domain_Photography / Pixabay

HUNGER AND ABUSE OF POWER IN POLITICS

By

Paul Nsona

Mzuzu University

Public_Domain_Photography / Pixabay

Malawi as one of the countries in Africa is not doing enough in terms of politics and governance. It could be the greatest privilege of every citizen to use the rights necessary. However, in the eyes of the law all citizens are equal. Whatever our situation in life, whether rich or poor, coloured or black, all of us are liable to punishment in the ordinary courts of law for breaches of the law. But this is not the case with Malawi especially when it comes to politics and governance. Invariably, it is hard to see politicians in ruling government to be under menace. We have seen many people who follow and support ruling party being the instruments of violence in the country. Arguably, nothing happens to them and laws do not apply. However, there are a lot that this country needs so that every citizen must enjoy the right of self – defence. In contrast, Malawi has proven to be led by people who do not care about other people. Again, a lot of politicians have portrayed the characters that are negatively affecting the country. Hunger and abuse of power have taken their course in politics.

Unquestionably, a need for democracy in 1993 was not a viewpoint of fighting for freedom but it was rather a way of fighting for power. Those who were on top in fighting for multiparty system were very hungry for power and that freedom which was fought for has not been profitable to the grass root people. In fact, nothing has changed since 1994. Many people have been put to brutal death in the name of politics. Nevertheless, there are so many indicators of abuse of power in most of political leaders since the dated period where citizens voted for multiparty system through that referendum. It is no wonder to see Statutory Corporations (SC) that are still controlled by politicians and decisions governing the office comes from politicians in the ruling party. The highest positions in such parastatals are chosen by political leaders. It becomes difficult to understand how that person can perform the duties. Just to mention it, the person in such the position is expected to do the duties in the favour of the political leaders and that the person has no freedom of following and supporting any other party. Apart from that, such the officer accepts whatever comes from ruling party even if it is wrong and against the law. Instead, it is by default for anyone in the statutory corporation especially in the higher office to support the ruling party, otherwise the officer can be dismissed from the work.

It is sad to see a smaller country like Malawi to have many political parties. You can understand that this is not a sign of democracy but the hungry for power. Other countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, just to mention a few, have only two political parties yet they are in a democratic world. Yet here in our country it is common to see political parties separating due to hungry for power. Eventually, we hear that people who were influential in the former party have formed their party. It is not an error in reasoning to say that Malawi is not democratic, although it is claimed that we are in democratic system of government, to me, it is argued that Malawi pretends to follow the democracy. Going into history of Malawi, one can realise that our leaders have been abusing their power in the politics. For instance, the former president, Bakili Muluzi tried to convince people and fight for the third term, yet he knew this was and is still against the law of the country. During that, members of parliament had to vote for his claims but this did not work, not necessarily that his followers did not want, rather misfortunes followed him. However, this was really a hunger and abuse of power in the office during his tenure. Moreover, the divisions that arose between him and late Bingu Mutharika tells us that there was a strong battle of hungry for power.

Again, our former president, Bakili Muluzi knowingly, forced Malawi Electoral Commission to allow him to contest in 2009 election. Because the constitution does not allow such an action, he was denied to contest again and this made him to keep the party to himself not giving opportunity to others in the party so called United Democratic Front to carry the flag of the party as presidential candidate of 2009 election. In fact, it was indeed a hunger and abuse of power in politics. I believe that this was deliberate not to give others a chance to lead the party because he was waiting for his son, Atupele Muluzi to reach the age of 35 years which is a requirement for a presidential candidate. We have a lot of evidences that most of the politicians use their powers abusively to the extent of infringing other people’s rights.

More recently, the country has registered a number of violent acts particularly, initiated by DPP cadets who call themselves the dad’s children, ‘‘ana adad’’, and this shows that the ruling party is hungry for power since it does not want any opposition from other political parties. In addition, using cadets as instruments of silencing other political parties is a sign of abuse of power in a democratic country like Malawi. Apart from that, violent acts in Malawi is showing that we are diverting from democracy and going back to one party regime where people had no freedom of expression and choice. To finger point any wrong doing of ruling leader was root cause of your suffering, even today this kind of leadership has been adopted by ruling party particularly with regard to the acts of violence of one’s human right. However, the ruling party led by President Peter Mutharika is portraying a bad picture to the nature of democracy. On the contrary, I would like to congratulate for president’s call for unity, peace and love among Malawian, however, his call for these tools that make people to live in harmony is so ironical following what the supporters of the party especially the cadets are doing to their fellow Malawians. They are intimidating and beating other people who made their choice to support opposition parties. Is that calling people for unity, peace and love in the country? In such a case there is this phrase that goes as ‘‘when you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. Where Malawi is going? We remember now the words of the late President Bingu Mutharika who said, ‘‘we are warm heart of Africa, but do you know what, we are warm to the outsiders and among ourselves, we are full of jealousy, segregation and cruelty’’. Emotional states are however as infectious as diseases and from our experience the peace in our country is rotting. Sometimes people at grass root level may feel they are helping the party but they are only precipitating their own disaster. I do believe indeed that the unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on others.

It is not also exception to see and hear that even opposition parties castigating each other at their different political rallies. Instead of adhering to their notions and manifestos and rather than telling citizenry how they will bring change to this rotten democracy, they are busy quarrelling each other in their political propagandas like what was observed in one recent political rallies.  We, however, as citizens are contemplating to vote for a president who has a vision for the country. We expect presidential candidates to preach the politics of substance and not blue lies to the podiums. The political leaders should realise that many citizens are now able to know their lies, even if they tell citizens in remote areas. In fact, it is a drama to hear that Malawi will be turned into Europe when other political leaders will be voted into power. In reality, this is a joke and they should understand that Malawi as a country cannot be compared with the continent.

However, it is a duty of the citizen while in youthful stage with strength and vigour to endeavour to make adequate preparation and decision for himself for better Malawi so that neither he nor they will become burden or a charge on the community. As such, the youth should not be the instruments of violence in political environment but they should be the instruments of change for better Malawi.

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